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Veselin Topalov vs Alexander Beliavsky
"On Topa the World" (game of the day Jan-12-2018)
Eu Team Ch (1999), Batumi GEO, rd 3
Spanish Game: Morphy Defense. Archangelsk Variation (C78)  ·  1-0


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Given 26 times; par: 58 [what's this?]

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sac: 38.Nh5+ PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Seaholme: @Morfishine: I think that after 42...Nxd6 white simply wins with 43.Rg6+
Aug-22-14  David2009: For me this was an interesting case of chess blindness:

click for larger view

White would like to play Rxf6 followed by Nh5+ but the Rf1 is en prise. So analyse 38.Nh5+ gxh5 39.Rdxf6 (as spotted earlier by <Gregor Samsa Mendel>): but this doesn't work: 38...Qxf1+! and Black wins on material. At this stage I gave up and looked up the solution.

So why did I miss 38.Nh5+ gxh5 39.Rfxf6! and wins? I put it down to faulty pattern recognition. At the ripe old age of seventy-two my brain is less plastic than it was when I was younger - so I spot only the familiar patterns. Doubling rooks on an open file is far more common than doubling rooks on the 6th rank.

Aug-22-14  Refused: Nh5+ - Rfxf6 - Qg5+ - Bxe5 must be the idea.

Maybe Nh5+ - Rdxf6 also works, but then black can exchange his Queen for both rooks on f1, and I am simply not convinced the white attack does not run out of steam/pieces.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <David2009: For me this was an interesting case of chess blindness: ...I gave up and looked up the solution.>

I had an even worse case of Chess blindness. I saw the target of the attack was a Rook capture of the f6 pawn and that Nh5+ was involved. However, I missed the Knight check with 38. Nh5+ must preceed the capture of the f6 pawn with the Rook.

My Chess blindness was missing the Rook on f1 was enprise, under attack by the Queen. So I crashed with 38. Rxf6?? Qxf1+ (Not 38... Rxf6?? 39. Nh5+) 39. Kh2 Rxf6 .

Aug-22-14  ibnyamin: "Neat point at the end where if 42...Nxd6, White trades down into a won endgame..."

42... Nxd6 loses immediately to
43 Rg6+

Premium Chessgames Member
  smitten: What's wrong with 32..♕xe4?
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <smitten: What's wrong with 32..Qxe4?>

The problem appears to lie in 33.Rxd6, threatening 34.Bxe5, when Black's shaky position collapses--he needs to hold the strongpoint at e5 as best he can. As the game went, Beliavsky turned all his energies to that goal and even then, it proved insufficient as White prised open the enemy king position.

Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <Seaholme> Yes, of course
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: 38.Nd5 was probably not a bad idea, hitting f6 for a 3rd and 4th time. However, it's less forcing.
Aug-22-14  jdc2: Difficult problem, easy to see possibilities but a definite answer is not there. Here's a definite "White mates in 7" problem I pulled from a variation of this game:

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: I think the beauty of this attack is that after 39.Rfxf6, White has a single threat (40.Qg5+) and Black has nothing that works... removing the king from the diagonal doesn't work, all queen moves are useless, the move that Beliavsky played doesn't work... I'm in awe.
Aug-22-14  Cheapo by the Dozen: White is down a pawn, has a hanging rook (that would be captured with check), and doesn't have a lot of forcing move possibilities. So 38 Nh5+ is the obvious choice. The point is that after

38 Nh5+ gxh5
39 R(either)xf6 Rxf6
40 Qxf6+

White wins the piece back with a great position. He also wins the piece back against most passive defenses, because the e5 knight is sort-of pinned, and unpinning uses a tempo, while moving the knight invites discovered/double check. And if Black declines the knight sacrifice, most lines look a lot like a transposition.

I don't know whether I'll find the time today to work this through in detail.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Mink coat h5 crevice ogle for won a king over nip:

in the buds every case to fly in cuffed lane chubb have aim at I'm afraid cop glorify 37...Qc4 try eek out digs around a lerk free ever etc c4 bad try each way bet governs 37...Nb5 another bind:

bleak house prospects at have triple whammy up eg discern cred camp i f6 target ferret around light is winning by a margin alive clod hopper strike at the gate f8 a monarch fervious form came to catch cover cured of his woes ever as put in c3 monk laps e5 sight skim palm cone h5 at haven then since lancer act h4 faith have cheers a cuffed g7 good cage fled i figure as on i said a gifted horse at camp cog find h5 clog up ply in lights:

aha pin finish a difficult call ha pin the donkey ja ship cope cinch ash h4 er come have g5 around a lane h6 at seals a win e5 bishop try clutch ay wire bus a bind about saves la c3 bind concrete a head cops off creed live see sac bishop fag tooth steed first cuff good strike whilst the irons hot gift came h5 reenter the centre bore bang e5 bungs up the works as i for bad c4 call a flight if ive h4:

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: This right a hive h5 oomph all i bones for pick a rook f1 up good a d6 also lateral pressure ignoble mission choose a wave better glide arm bet believe in dig a h5 duty ramble give lip edge black bemoans lack of room a chip off the old block am cad duffed aids among the crowd band jive bunny up ie in ba ba h5 jip bind rock the kasbah aka in et tu brute a mind cedes away as got race h5 to mate arrives later senses la bind a look h5 in the door mack a do bird it now in alive no more a bullshine off rook procedures matter glide f6 deep in the pocket snuggle choice miss hap c4 off i fetch in da manuel a churlish queen slide tres bon much joy for white every effect taken in due consideration have at infer burrow a needleers the c4 error re-instate a grip ok eg rove majesty gets flattened around g7 often eg liege nt doubled segment g8 or key field in e7 couples a flog dispand the key:

feels around dutiful bog good harangue aim flow under cutoff g7 line every score couple at got ranger able at re c3 long sight as confide duo i at bed free bone in cascadence ogles son slide away h5 in cop fluffs again fitter radical zone slice f6 inter choice how learn double rook dispatch evermore fob off in an angle i curious at see the jungles 37...Nb5 reticence try esconce free cue on the mark maximum have break off in feels the rue previcate rooks f6 and d6 angle sixth mind rank like beans talk of the tape neutralize brave blacks colony in cheese wire head h5 advantage off re c3 you have e5 in sight rook up holy light f6 good better bounce off c4 eyes i e6 duo betcha swop both rooks for c4 lady or could even have i bowls over ignoble choice square blows e6 hot and cold blind h6 corner check off in wide berth stun catch band have bull rush chew gum balls f6 over the cudgel g7 where to run blood beat around the bush b5 milly f6 manage like dont bish bash bosh drill d6 in would borough right district at he glib again eg branch enough bets:

ever tickled pink h5 i for dead free duck brandish the iron feint gutoff yes i remember palms up cone at reflex favours done rook radical entrance clunk cliff f6 as tender spot h5 ellucidate rooks second beyond a doubt ok c3 will find e5 a juicy target so view a rug c4 over swept under the carpet per say gumption 38.Nh5+ as a chair slouch off church of reason centre light rooks at join the party ie dash h5 able and have will peg back brave in bow again demand g7 wheres the best placed carte blanche f8 or g8 ever learn like frail majesty man lead stable g7 labled horse forfeit her bind as in it hind maneovre stipulate again vow level g6 off ergo at peg h4 up lick at enact jail inceed hod h4 carrier clutch a goose g6 recapture cool heads call for handed g7 heaps at f8 heffa f6 a lump in well sell shake duo have a d6 and f6 languid poise danced around possible flag for hope queen cross headed hinch a lift hush over board it ardent in aim line low good hush a puppet g7 majesty heave knight away b5 in cap colonise 38...gxh5 39.Rfxf6 Nb5 ave nook and cranny man have pale b5 face double jump around rook fad instigate 39...Kf8 light wins e5 and slide d6 over after good fan:

dangle f7 an the off pin c4 queen back at f7 and a win her majesty in rade goover rung stoop 40.Qg5+ lean focus a mind check off great alms back a while in c3 cascade point doge at will assist again safe double grant it is ok in ogle a majesty f8 as hives tend for can queen quick among the draw dukes at monopoly 40...Kf8 41.Qh6+ a fade:

horded around majesty ramble give pinned plod over and out guys have huffle give i 41...Kg8 mate in 10 win have a 41...Ke7 majesty retreat escape e7 cub hole swarm e6+ over queen re-capture and light wins at the c4 queen has hive interpose a wave easy win now at voiced right rook a bib length among d6 eli gives a thought at catch in wash tide over b5 out of the equation have stuff of be creams a dank and dusty f6 adamant difficult forsee all credible gain hairs of the dog ever seem knight slip h5 man c4 pop fret i mash tier bad lead as have nod in c3 i see hail evermore a culpa clock a need ado pelt hire jip given out it hire modify e7 dock for cuffs eg ment quarter back now ledge in hile dust raid as 42.Bxe5 has a chuck act c4 queen hoofed a c1 as aim over crush queen ahead d6 pack in mate sound again ever create win has forstall an 11 step finish rook knight bishop swap a d6 off in duties at done.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Nice attack. About this point in the week, I am happy if I can get the first move or two.
Premium Chessgames Member
  M.Hassan: "Difficult"
White to play 38.?
Equal and White has a Bishop for a Knight.

38.Nd3 Nxd3
39.Rdxf6 Ne5
40.Bxe5 Rxe5
41.Rxf7+ Qxf7
42.Rxf7+ Kxf7
43.Qxh7+ Kf6
I could not find a good way to respond in case:
38.Nd3 g5
and did not have much time to spend

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has a bishop for a knight.

Black threatens 38... Qxf1+.

All white pieces converge on f6. This invites to play 38.Nh5+:

A) 38... gxh5 39.Rfxf6 (39.Rdxf6 Qxf1+ 40.Rxf1 Rxf1+ 41.Kh2 Kg6 42.Qg3+ Kf6 unclear)

A.1) 39... Rxf6 40.Qxf6+ Kg8 41.Bxe5

A.1.a) 41... Rxe5 42.Qxe5 + - [R+P vs N].

A.1.b) 41... Re7 42.Qh8+ Kf7 43.Rf6#.

A.1.c) 41... Ne6 42.Rxe6 Q(R)xe6 43.Qg7#.

A.2) 39... Ng6 40.Rxf7+ Kxf7 41.Qf6+ Kg8 42.Qg7#.

A.3) 39... Rfe7 40.Qg5+ Kh8 41.Rf5 Qb5 42.Rdf6 Rg8 43.Rf8 looks winning (43... Rg7 44.Bxe5).

A.4) 39... h6 40.Qg3+

A.4.a) 40... Ng6 41.Rxg6+ Kf8 42.Rg8+ Ke7 43.Qe5+ Ne6 44.Rxe6+ wins.

A.4.b) 40... Kf8 41.Bxe5 with an overwhelming position (41... Qxe4 42.Rxf7+ Kxf7 43.Qg7#).

A.5) 39... Kf8 40.Qf4 Rxf6 (due to the threat 41.Bxe5 and 42.Rxf7+ Qxf7 43.Rf6) 41.Qxf6+ Qf7 (41... Nf7 42.Rd7 and the threat 43.Qg7# looks winning) 42.Bxe5 Qxf6 43.Rxf6+ Ke7 (else loses the knight) 44.Rh6 and White seems to have a won endgame.

B) 38... Kf8 39.Rfxf6 gxh5 (else loses a pawn) 40.Qf4 transposes to A.5.

C) 38... Kg8 39.Nxf6+ wins a pawn at least while keeping the attack.

D) 38... Kh8 39.Rfxf6 looks similar to previous lines.

Premium Chessgames Member
  GoldenKnight: Problems like this are easy to solve if you approach them the right way. Looking at open lines, etc. may get you to the right conclusion, but it may take awhile. Instead, do it like the Grandmasters do it. Create in your mind a fantasy position then see if you can achieve it. I once saw Topalov analyzing one of his noteworthy games at the time, and at one point he showed us on the board what position he wanted to attain during the game, then proceeded to show us how he did it. I had heard of Grandmasters doing that, but now I actually saw it. My solution rate for these puzzles has gone way up (even solving most Sunday puzzles) since employing this technique (which I only started to do recently). So, let's try it on the game at hand.

It's obvious that you want to destroy the pawn structure in front of Black's King without losing too much. So that's the kind of move you look for. White's N needs to be moved and fortunately it can share in the attack as well. It must be done with check since White's R is en prise. Thus, the first move is obvious: Nh5+ followed by R1xf6 with a likely Qg6 afterward. Mission accomplished. That's all I needed to see. This took less than two minutes approached the right way. Over the board, I would have played this only seeing that far, taking note of the positional characteristics (Black's exposed K) and if there were other problems to solve I would have solved them as they came up. Thus, I did not bother looking at the rest of the game (at least for now, since I'm at work and don't have a lot of time).

Aug-22-14  waustad: I got about half way through the rest of the game. I made it through move 40, which for me on a Friday is pretty close.
Aug-22-14  PJs Studio: This Topalov guys pretty good.
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: 19..Nc6? would have lost to 20 Nh6+..Kh8 21 Nxf7+. 21..dxe would have been a better continuation. After 26..Nc7? 27 d4! Black was clearly worse; either 26..c4 or 26..g6 were better alternatives. 34..h5!? also looks like a possible improvement.
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: Clearly this pun is in honor of the 45th anniversary of The Carpenters' #1 hit:

Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: <plang: 19..Nc6? would have lost to 20 Nh6+..Kh8 21 Nxf7+>

Great combination, thanks.

Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: Excellent finish! Very nice game
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: What if 20..g6? All I can find is 20... g6 21. Bxe6 Qxe6 22. Nh6 Qxg4 23. Nxg4. Surely Topalov (no relation to Shirley Topalov) must have had something better in mind?
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